Holidays at Parkside

Halloween Candy Swaps

By: Lauren Williams, MS, APRN, FNP-C

Halloween Candy Swaps


Can you believe we’ve made it back around to the holidays again? Every time I step into the grocery store, I’m reminded that the Halloween candy has been out for weeks! I can’t lie; I am excited to enjoy some goodies. Give me all the sour candy! However, if your family is anything like mine, we end up stockpiling candy for the next year and cluttering the pantry. The amount of candy can be overwhelming between trunk or treats, school, and Halloween night!

Some kiddos must strictly monitor their candy intake for various health conditions or allergies. Because of the choking risk, some kiddos are too small to enjoy many Halloween candy options. Never fear; I have compiled a list of Halloween Candy swaps (no toothbrushes, I promise)!

  • Glow sticks
  • Spider Rings
  • Stickers
  • Bracelets
  • Slinkies
  • Bubbles
  • Bouncy balls
  • Temporary tattoos
  • Small plastic figures (for ex: Dinosaurs, skeletons)
  • Fruit snacks
  • Individual snack bags (for ex: Goldfish)
  • Clementines (bonus points for adding a jack-o-lantern face!)
  • Granola Bars

Many of these ideas will outlast the mountain of candy your child brings home and be a fun toy to enjoy! And hey, they also won’t leave melted chocolate puddles in the car seat, carpet, or couch. Maybe your family will plan to have both candy and some alternatives. Variety is the spice of life, right?! Regardless of your decision, please know there is space to have some fun and not place the “monster” label on sugar. Often, that connotation can make sugar that much more desirable. Mom Hack: Having a good, well-balanced meal before parties and trick or treating can make for happy tummies and reduce the likelihood of overindulging!

If you have a kiddo with allergies, the holidays can be stressful. Halloween candies contain some of the most common allergens, like peanuts, milk, and eggs. Often, individually wrapped candies do not include ingredients or nutrition facts. Beware that candies are usually susceptible to trace cross-contamination because the factories produce numerous different candies. In some instances, miniature candies have different ingredients or proportions of ingredients than full-size products. Some of our families opt for a “treat” exchange with siblings, classmates, or neighbors. It might also be fun to package the unlabeled/allergen-containing candy and leave them out for the “Treat Fairy” to swap for a prize.

One thing is for sure: we can’t wait to see your costumes! You are in for a treat if you visit us on Halloween. We will be in our costumes and would love it if you came in yours, too! If we miss you, please share photographs with your provider at your next visit — it will make their day! Happy Halloween, everyone!


Until next time,

Lauren Williams

Parkside Provider, proud boy mama, and holiday fanatic

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